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ruthless compassion
05 May 2004 @ 05:32 pm
It's Wednesday already. Time flies. I studied in the morning today and took a trip in the afternoon to a town near here called San Andres Xecul, a town with a big, colorful church that combines aspects of Catholic practice and Mayan. Like many other towns around here, most of the houses are built on the slope of a steep hill in order to leave open the flat(ter) areas for agriculture (although a lot of agriculture happens on steep slopes, too)

My Spanish is coming along. I have days where it flows and is great (like yesterday) and other days where I can say what I want to say, but I screw up all the details in the process. It's strange, but I think it's just a matter of practicing more. I've gotten several "why are you here?"s from teachers, which I suppose indicates that my Spanish is pretty darn good, but I still feel like I have a long way to go. I'm afraid I may be at the point where the only thing to do is to bury myself in Spanish for a couple of months to get to true fluency.

I hope to start keeping some degree of journal in Spanish, either during this trip or shortly after. If you want to be on the filter to be able to read my entries in Spanish, let me know.

My family is, relative to the general population here, rich. Each person has his/her own room and there's even another guest room (aside from the one I'm in) that's empty, there are two full bathrooms, both with hot water for the shower (the water really gets hot!!), they have a car, a washing machine, and a microwave oven. They are also relatively progressive on social issues like unmarried people cohabiting and the role of the church in society and individual lives.

There's a part of me that feels some sort of guilt about being happy about being in a more wealthy house, with more creature comforts, and that part of me also feels like I'm not having an "authentic" experience of Guatemala. But I remind myself that though they may be a minority, the wealthier folks are also a part of the fabric of Guatemala, and thinking of the more working class life as the only true one is a form of oppression, too, I think, so... I'm enjoying.

I've yet to get to the market, but I've been promised that mango season is in full swing, so I have nothing to worry about. *thrill*